Comptroller Attah J Odeliverng his brief.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The outgoing Coordinator of the Controller General of Customs Zone A Strike Force, Deputy Controller of Customs Shuaibu A. B. has been described as an anti-smuggling Czar and an exceptionally committed officer by the outgoing National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Attah J.O. who was on hand to represent the Controller General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ali (Rtd) at the press briefing organised on Wednesday to showcase the seizures of Pangolin scales and Elephant tusks.
Comptroller Attah inspecting the seized items, to his right is DC Shuaibu.
The outgoing NPRO had earlier while briefing the press stated that the CGC strike force team had stormed the Lekki area of Lagos and intercepted one Toyota Sienna space mobile car with registration number KRD 541 HH suspected to be loaded with un-customs goods noting that the vehicle with its 4 occupants and other items of illegal trade were taken to a station and detained. He said that upon joint examination, 15 sacks of Pangolin scales of varying weight were found and that the total weight of the scales amounted to 839.4 kilogrammes. Comptroller Attah also added that 4 sacks of Elephant tusks of different weights were also found in the car and that the total weight of the ivory is 145 kilogrammes. He put the total value of the scales and ivory at Three Billion, One Hundred and Fifty Five Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (#3,155,667,500.00) only.
The seized pangolin scales and ivory on display.
Comptroller Attah said that “The operation was conducted in collaboration with the Wild life Justice Commission, targeting the illegal trade of wildlife from Africa to Asia”. He also noted that this is the fourth major seizure of Pangolin scales, ivory and other assorted wildlife parts in Nigeria in the last 13 months. The illegal wildlife trade is a breach of section 63 “E” and “G” of the Customs and Excise Management Act Cap 45 of LFN 2004.
The Comptroller indicated that they remain committed to the quarterly meeting with the embassies of the USA, UK, Germany and the World Bank on the subject matter as he commends the Wild life Justice Commission for their commitment to the course of curbing this illegal trade through the provision of credible and actionable intelligence.
During the question and answer session, the Comptroller said that the previous persons caught in the illegal trade are undergoing prosecution as he added that most of these animal parts are smuggled to Asian countries ostensibly for the purpose of making certain medicaments.
He thanked the sister agencies who are collaborating with the NCS in trying to curb the illegal trade in wildlife parts, he also called on the general public to keep helping the Service by giving credibly timely information so that their jobs may be made easier as he promises strict confidentiality in the handling of any iinformation.
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